South Africa: DSI

Name of Funding agency
Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)
Geographical coverage (national/regional)
Name of the programme/initiative
Programme website
Programme owner
Department of Science and Innovation
Program manager (executing funding organisation)
Department of Science and Innovation
Contact person(s) (e-mail, tel.)

Ms Anita Mnisi:  

Tel: +27 26 63 6328 

Ms Ntombi Mchuba:  

Tel: +27 60 974 6773 

Funding commitment
400.000 €
Anticipated number of fundable research partners

The number of projects will be determined by approved projects that would have met the eligibility criteria and recommended for funding.  

Maximum funding per grant awarded to a partner

DSI will co-invest up to maximum of 90% of the approved funds for a period not exceeding 36 months with institutions as detailed below: 


Type of research  

Medium & Large Enterprises 

Small Enterprises 


& Research 


Fundamental/Basic Research  




Industrial/Applied Research 




Experimental development 




South African institutions will have to involve the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDI) in their projects, this is for eligibility on National funding 

Type of research eligible for funding: eligible TRL range

Fundamental/basic research, Industrial/applied research and Experimental development

Funding rates (approx.)

Direct costs: 

Travel and Daily subsistence allowance including accommodation 

The DSI will cover travel costs in line with the guidelines of South African government regulations. 

Consumables and supplies 

Any consumables necessary for the implementation of the project may be considered as direct eligible costs.Consumables are only eligible costs under the project if bought after the start date of the project. 

Costs of personnel 

DSI will cover personnel cost to be incurred during project implementation.  


DSI will not prevent SA applicants from subcontract activities within the project but encourages SA researchers to commit to activities that they are mostly able to implement. And will not support subcontracting of parties outside South Africa. The co-investment contract will be between DSI and the main SA applicant and not the subcontractor. Therefore, DSI will not be involved in any agreements/arrangements regarding activities to be implemented and how the reimbursed will be done between main SA applicant and the subcontracted party.  

Major eligibility criteria (e.g. types of organisations, thematic restriction, cost types and caps)

This call is open to working researchers residing in South Africa and affiliated with a recognised higher education or research institution such as a university, university of technology or science council, small, medium (SMEs) and large enterprises in the private sector and national system of innovation (NSI) organisations involved in R&D. 


It is “obligatory” for South African lead researcher/principal investigator (PI)s based at historically advantaged institutions, SMEs and large companies to include, as part of the research team, a research partner from any of the historically disadvantaged institutions. Proposals submitted by an applicant based at a historically advantaged institution without a research partner from a historically disadvantaged institution will be ineligible. The research partner from the historically disadvantaged institution in this case can serve as a co-applicant in the proposal. 


Applicants based at historically disadvantaged institutions can act as PIs and submit proposals without the involvement of and or partnering with researchers based at historically advantaged institutions if they prefer. 


Please note that only the following eight universities will be recognized as historically disadvantaged in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training November 2015 Ministerial Statement on university funding: 

  1. University of Limpopo (UL) 
  1. University of Fort Hare (UFH) 
  1. University of Venda (Univen) 
  1. Walter Sisulu University (WSU) 
  1. University of the Western Cape (UWC) 
  1. University of Zululand (UniZulu) 
  1. Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) 
  1. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). 


Historically Disadvantaged Institutions and Individuals also refers to: SMEs owned by Black and Female Individuals. The inclusion of emerging researchers and youth innovators is strongly encouraged. 


Submission of the proposal at national/regional level (schedule, cut-off dates, deadlines, etc.)

The deadlines will be indicated on the call; however, researchers will beadvised to submit their proposals to DSI for advice one month in advance of submitting them to the coordinator. 

Submission of financial and scientific reports at the national/regional level

National: Submission of financial and scientific reports will be stipulated in the contracts negotiated between the DSI and the institutions